Wrongful Death Claims and Drowning Accidents

Attorney Blog

undefinedWho is responsible when a child dies in a drowning accident? And can families file wrongful death claims in the aftermath of such a tragedy? In some instances, children drown at public pools or in shallow ocean water while a lifeguard is nearby. In other cases, kids can suffer fatal injuries at the homes of family members or friends in private pools or even in the bathtub. While each case has its own facts and complications, a recent article in Slate reported that, “in 10 percent of drownings, adults are nearby but have no idea the victim is dying.”

Given that summer is in full swing, and many Chicago residents will be taking weekend trips for lake vacations, it is important to understand how to identifying a drowning victim. Do you know the signs and symptoms of a child that is drowning?

Understanding What Drowning Actually Looks Like

In short, as the article explains, “drowning is not violent.” Many people believe that someone is only at risk of drowning when that person is flailing and visually having difficulty in the water. However, “drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event.” To be sure, “the waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning . . . prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life.”

When you are monitoring kids around a pool or at the lakeside, you should understand what the “Instinctive Drowning Response” actually looks like. This term refers to the type of behavior that people exhibit when they are suffocating and are struggling to breathe in the water. From the surface or from the shore, this behavior looks “quiet and undramatic.” Some of the following behaviors are associated with the Instinctive Drowning Response:

  • A person’s mouth sinking below the surface and then reappearing, with no calling out for help. When someone is drowning, they cannot call out for help, and each time the mouth rises above the water, that person is not making any noise but rather is “exhale[ing] and inhal[ing] quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.”
  • No waving for assistance. As the article explains, if a child is struggling in the water and is suffocating, “nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface . . . so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breath.”
  • Remaining “upright in the water” without any evidence of kicking to support movement or stability in the water.

Identifying Signs and Symptoms of Drowning 

If drowning does not look the way in which it is often dramatized, what should we look for? The following are key signs that someone may be drowning, according to the article:

  • Mouth only at water level;
  • Person’s head lower in the water;
  • Head tilted backward and mouth open;
  • Glassy or empty eyes;
  • Closed eyes;
  • Hair hanging over eyes;
  • Body positioned vertically without using legs for kicking;
  • Gasping;
  • Attempting to swim in a direction but being unable to do so; and
  • Attempting to roll onto back but being unable to do so.

Swimming can be very dangerous, particularly for children who do not have proper swimming skills. When another person’s negligence in or around the water results in fatal injuries, it is important to speak with an Aurora wrongful death lawyer about filing a claim for compensation. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices today.

Categories:

I’ve had to know a few attorneys in my life and Jon was the best.

Unfortunately, I got badly injured at an athletic job. Run by a company that didn’t care about me. I needed an attorney and Woodruff, Johnson and Evans was recommended to me by a family member. That small gesture ended up being the best legal advice I ever received. Jon Walker defended me and made sure […]

Marko P.

I wouldn’t have gotten the relief from my injury if Jay had not gotten involved.

I was referred to Woodruff, Johnson & Evans by a friend after a work related car accident. The workmen comp adjuster was giving me the run around. I was having terrible back pain but because it was work related my doctors could not provide me the treatment I need. Jay Johnson began investigating my case […]

Randel M

Outstanding job for my mother and me.

Very professional. Was referred to me by my mother. Did an outstanding job for my mother and me. Great service!

Valente G

Russ was the best!

Russ was the best! I got his number from my cousin. Best phone call I ever made! Always there for anything I needed and got all my bills paid and some compensation for me! Highly recommend.

Timothy F

Thank you for a good service!!

Steve Sandler presented himself professionally with good rapport and showed concern for my well being. I will definitely recommend him to others!! Thank you!!

Sherifat O

This man knows what he is doing.

I can’t say enough about Jon Walker. He took my case after being denied. Told me everything I had to do and kept me calm during the wait and got me approved! If you want a professional lawyer who knows how to get you approved call WOODRUFF JOHNSON & EVANS I cannot thank you enough […]

Steve G

Far beyond what I expected!

Russ Haugen helped me far beyond what I expected. He was polite and communicated with me every step of the way. Thank you for everything!

Mikahl S

I really felt like I had an ally!

Jon Walker represented me in a Work Comp case. I really felt like I had an ally and someone who was going to protect me and my rights after I was injured at work. Jon was extremely attentive and available to me when I had questions or needed advice throughout the entire process. Also, Jon […]

Juli T

Recommendation to Blessing

I had a lawyer working on my insurance claim that was extremely unprofessional and after 8 months of getting nowhere, I fired him. Dexter Evans was recommended to me by a family member. He was extremely professional and made the insurance claim very easy for me. He was very informative and always got back to […]

Brooke D

I am forever Grateful for this Firm!

I am forever Grateful for this Firm. Steven Sandler stayed on top of my auto accident. I was kept informed on every thing. They were there for me and I will be sure to recommend them. Thank you!!!

Lisa R
View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation